Prachi Desai is expectedly cheerful. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai has clicked with the audience as well as critics while Prachi's act too has been appreciated despite this Milan Luthria film being a gangster flick with men (Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda) leading from the front. Her good run is continuing as now, after Rock On and Life Partner, she has her third film in a row all set to be a winner at the box office. While it is a 'khushi' situation for her currently, it was some 'gham' for her not too many moons ago. As she had mentioned in the first part of this conversation with this correspondent, though getting into a 'Bobby outfit' wasn't a surprise for her, there was 'not quite a decent proposal' made to her in one of her earlier outings. She was required to get into a particular outfit which wasn't comfortable enough for her liking. In the second and concluding part of the conversation, Prachi talks about what had gone wrong and how she handled the situation.
In Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, did you know about the Bobby sequence where you had to get into Dimple Kapadia's outfit?
I knew about the Bobby sequence but I didn't have to ask anyone about the explicit details. I didn't have to worry about the length of the dress or how I would look on screen because I knew that Milan (Luthria) would bring the best out of me. I knew that he won't misuse the sequence for the sake of it. Otherwise I would have been caught in an earlier situation that I had faced for one of my films where all of a sudden, I was told right on the sets that the next day I had to wear a particular outfit.
Which was this film?
(Hesitates) Let it go.
Ok, what was the incident?
I had never worn an outfit like that ever in my life and here the makers told me to come prepared for the shoot the next day. I was not just shocked but also felt so scared. I was just wondering that how would I look, how would people feel and so on. Today when I look back, I think it was just right on my part not to consent to their demands. I am glad that I kept my foot down. Even though I was in an early stage of my career, there is a certain sense of realisation that I had as an actor. I knew where the line was, what was necessary and what was not. If I would have worn that outfit, I would have looked foolish on screen.
Well, you don't look foolish in the Bobby sequence...
It happens with actors that if they are doubtful about wearing something, it reflects in their performance and audience also catch it there and then. This is the reason why for the Bobby sequence in OUATIM, the discomfort looks so real because that's the kind of person I am in real life. I didn't have to work towards getting the right emotions and only had to concentrate on acting natural. This is the reason why the scene looks so real.
...and cute too?
(Smiles) I am glad that you said this. See, we had this idea with us and pondered over how we got it running in the film because on one hand I was playing such a conservative girl while on the other hand, Shoaib's character (enacted by Emraan) was so erratic. He is a street hooligan so you can well imagine the kind of relationship between them where I am so shy while he is a brat.
Also, the era gone by was conservative as well.
Exactly, you could not be so open in the 70s. Let aside wearing revealing costumes in real life, you couldn't even be seen with a guy. This is why a lot of innocence had to be woven around the sequence by making it sweet and harmless rather than erotic. It all fitted in because Bobby was a huge rage then and hence the whole sequence of Emraan buying a similar outfit and expecting me to wear it just for his eyes made so much of sense. I too was comfortable since there is a lot of trust I have in Milan. After working in three films, I know that you need to have an extremely good rapport with the director to shed your inhibitions.
To be doing so with a co-star like Emraan was also a big deal, isn't it?
(Laughs) It doesn't make any difference in how actors are in real life or in reel life earlier. What is of utmost important is the right casting for a particular film and this is what has worked in case of OUATIM. In a setting that is so dark, it is this relationship between Emraan and I that brings in certain lightness to the proceedings. This is the reason why songs too are getting so much appreciation because they pretty much reflect the different characteristics of the two individuals.
Okay, then why don't you talk about the individual who makes Prachi's heart go boom?
(Smiles) Yes, there is someone out there but I guess it is still too early to state anything. May be I will open up about everything later in the day.
You seem to be really hesitant Prachi. Why is that so, especially when you are in the world of glamour where an artist's private life is anyways open to public scrutiny?
Yes, I agree. In fact as a little child, even I used to be very curious to know about what was going on in the personal lives of actors. After all we actors are in constant limelight 24X7 so it becomes even tougher to admit to something. Ab jab meri baari aayi hai toh I want to be spoken about only for my work!